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Garlic Calendar – Local Garlic 365! ​

We want to celebrate and enjoy the bounty of Ontario-grown garlic all year round! The Ontario Garlic Calendar includes holidays, special events (in-person and online), and cultural celebrations with a garlicky twist.

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Garlic Scape Season

June 13 - June 30

Garlic is one of the few plants with two harvests. Double the garlic goodness! Garlic scapes are harvested in the late spring and early summer, and bulbs are harvested in early to mid summer.

Garlic scapes are the tender stem and flower bud of a hardneck garlic plant. (Hardneck garlic typically grows in the Northern hemisphere).  The spiral scape is edible and are typically among the first produce found at spring farmers’ markets. 

Scapes start growing once spring arrives and the soil starts warming up. In most parts of the country, scapes are ready to be harvested in June and July. Ontario is a large province with many different microclimates. For example, scapes may grow earlier in the Niagara Region than in to North Bay.  

Harvesting the scapes is an integral part of garlic farming—Ontario farmers remove the scapes in order to divert energy to the bulb.  If the scape is left on the plant it will form a flower and then seeds.  

 

Remove the Scape

Remove the scapes by snapping or cutting them immediately after they’ve curled twice and before they straighten out. You may want to wear gloves, as snapped scapes produce a small amount of sap that can cause a mild burning sensation on the skin.

 

How do you eat them? 

Scapes can be cooked and eaten in so many different ways! Roasted, puréed, grilled, sautéed, poached, pickled or simply just raw by itself – although they can be a little tough raw. Just wash in cold water, trim the hard part on the tip and the bulb (compost it!), and you’re good to go. Garlic scapes have a unique taste that’s like a combination of onions, garlic and scallions. However, they’re mild and sweet and have a more delicate and less fiery taste than regular garlic. The texture is similar to asparagus.  

 

Is green garlic the same as garlic scapes? 

No. Green garlic is a young garlic plant that’s harvested before maturity. It has tender leaves and is harvested before the garlic bulbs develop. Besides having a more tender-crisp texture than soft green garlic, the flavour of scapes is stronger. However, scapes can be substituted for green garlic and vice versa. 

 

Where to find scapes?  

Most Ontario farmers’ markets sell scapes during scape season. Scapes store for 2-3 months if kept refrigerated and at low humidity. It’s a good idea to stock up when you find them! 

Find a farmer or farmers’ market near you on the Ontario Garlic Map!

 

Recipe examples

  • Pesto 
  • Pickled 
  • Roasted 
  • Soup 

 

Details

Start:
June 13
End:
June 30
Event Category: